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Open Access (in English)

This guide provided by Arcada Library introduces open access in the context of publications and hopefully can help scholars inside and outside Arcada University of Applied Sciences.

Open Access in a Nutshell

Open access means that research results are made freely accessible to everyone's use. In its fullest, the reader can read, use, copy, and print the whole text free of charge in a digital, accessible form. What is accomplished with such a policy and why is it a significant change in research publishing?

Open access promotes the dissemination of research results both within the scientific community and to the public at large. However, it doesn't mean the removal of copyright. As usual, the author must be mentioned when citing an open access publication, and any commercial use is not permitted without the author's permission. Open access allows the results and knowledge to be used freely by whomever within the rules of copyright law.

Traditionally, research articles are published in journals that limit access through a license subject to a charge. This license can be purchased via the library or other parts of the research institution. With Open Access, these limitations of use come obsolete, and the cost is often associated with the publishing rather than use. Depending on the exact interpretation of Open Access policy, these new costs are seen as neutral or problematic.

OA publications can be divided into Free Open Access and Libre Open Access, which determines how the publication may be used. Free OA means that a publication may be viewed and printed at no cost while Libre OA allows wider use, often marked with Creative Commons licenses that restrict the use but give more access to the results than a limited, behind the paywalls system.

Most financiers have started to prioritize or even demand their scholars to publish their results as open access. The spreading of open access has been rapid in recent years, and the new open-access praxis is becoming more and more widely accepted. How the details of this new normal evolve will be seen in the near future.

Gold, Green, or Hybrid?

There are three different types of open access publishing:

  • Gold Open Access means that a scientific article is published in a journal that does not receive subscription fees from readers. Instead, it's the writer who pays a publishing fee (article processing charge, APC) to cover the journal's administrative costs.
  • Hybrid Open Access means that the author has the option to pay for making individual articles in subscription-based journals freely accessible.
  • Green Open Access means that a version of the article is parallel published in the university's freely accessible institutional repository. Parallel publishing is not the same as publishing in an open-access journal, but parallel publishing has the advantage that the item's visibility and its ability to influence increases. By parallel publishing, it is usually AAM (author's manuscript due accepted), final draft, or a post-print version of the item that is stored in the institutional repository. Before the article is parallel published, it is essential to know what rights to open access publishing the publisher admits, for example, embargo-times (usually 6-12 months). 

Picture: Foster Open Science (PASTEUR4OA)

In the picture above, the researcher makes a decision whether to aim at Golden Open Access or Green Open Access path. He or she makes the decision after checking Sherpa Romeo database. If he or she chooses the golden path, it is rather simple: the researcher simply pays the APC charge and the article is published as open access right away. With the green path, one must settle if the chosen subscription-based journal allows parallel publishing, how long embargo there is, and choose repository used in the local research organization. For example, Arcada uses Theseus for parallel publishing and the parallel publication is operated by the library. The journal can also be "hybrid", allowing both open access and subscription-only articles.

Parallel publishing (Self-archiving)

Parallel publishing is a form of free accessibility. It means that in addition to the published article, a final draft is published at the same time or after 6-12 months embargo in the research institute's own repository. Arcada University of Applied Sciences uses Theseus as its repository and the parallel publishing process is operated by the Arcada Library. If the article is already published fully open access, parallel publishing is unnecessary.

Parallel publishing is free for the researcher and the organization, and it meets the recommendations for accessibility, visibility, and archiving in the same way as publishing in an open access journal.

If for some reason Arcada's own repository is not suitable (e.g. if the article has multiple writers from different organizations), there are other options. ROARMAP is a registry charting open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions, and research funders. The Directory of Open Access Repositories, OpenDOAR, offers a list of open publication archives, among others arXiv.org.


Open access (OA) – scientific research results are made freely accessible in digital form

APC (Article Processing Charge) – publication fee for open access journals paid by the author

Creative Commons (CC) -license – Extends the terms and conditions of copyright of a work to fit specific needs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) – a permanent identifier of electronic documents

Embargo – A publisher's restrictions on how soon an article can be published in an open archive.

Gold open access – a scientific article is published in an OA-journal with a publication fee

Gratis open access – publishing without charge

Green open access – parallel publishing of an article in a freely accessible university institutional repository

Hybrid Open Access – the author has the option to pay for making individual articles in subscription-based journals freely accessible.

Libre open access – in addition to free access user rights, additional rights are given using Creative Commons licenses

ORCID-identifier – ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher

Parallel publishing (Self-archiving) -– a refereed and published article in a scientific journal is made freely available e.g. in a university's institutional repository

Post-print – refereed version of an article, including changes

Pre-print – version of an article that has not yet been refereed

Self-archiving (Parallel publishing) – a refereed and published article in a scientific journal is made freely available e.g. in a university's institutional repository

Sherpa Romeo – In Sherpa Romeo you can check scientific journals' and publishers' copyright policies and approach to self-archiving